Tuesday, May 28, 2013

5 Reasons You Can No Longer Afford to Ignore Google Plus by Amie Marse

Despite all the hoopla that surrounded the new social site when it was first released, many businesses are ignoring Google Plus completely in exchange for increased focus on sites like Facebook and Twitter. While 72 of the world’s largest 100 brands have a Google Plus page, nearly 40 percent of them haven’t posted any content on the site. But when you consider that Google Plus is the brainchild of the world’s most powerful search engine, is it really the brightest strategy to ignore Google Plus for business?

Even though it might not be a major traffic driver like Pinterest or other social sites, Google Plus has some incredible benefits.

The Benefits of Google Plus for Business


The Business Insider recently reported that growth for Google Plus has suddenly spiked. In fact, the boom is so noticeable that Google Plus is on track to overtake Twitter as the world’s 2nd largest social media site, assuming that the momentum doesn’t slow.

Up 33 percent with 359 million users, more people visit Google Plus on a regular basis than live in the United States. If there’s anything that marketing’s taught us, it’s that you always want to be ahead of the curve – and right now the curve is favoring Google Plus for business.


Aside from increased traffic, Mashable reports that Google Plus is also seeing an increase of time spent on the site. Users are now spending twice as much time on Google Plus than they did in February and the trend doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon.

As more and more people spend time on the site, the more powerful traffic driver this platform will become.


Having a Google Plus account allows you to claim authorship of your original content. This keeps your unique and original content valuable and accredited to you, even if content thieves scrape your work.

Furthermore, the implementation of Google Plus means that links and referrals will be weighted based on who they come from instead of where they’re posted. Authorship gives you credibility and power.

Search Engine Recognition

It goes without saying that a strong Google Plus presence directly correlates to stronger search engine recognition. While it can’t replace solid SEO strategy, why not enhance your efforts?


Whether you want to host Google Hangouts or filter posts for your Circles, Google Plus provides flexibility options that many of the other platforms don’t. By taking advantage of these features, you’re making your brand’s online presence unique from everyone else’s.

To make your Google Plus page even more effective, be sure to incorporate profile links. Unlike other social platforms, you can link to other sites throughout your Google Plus profile, thereby strengthening your overall sales funnel. As more people engage with you by sharing and giving you posts a +1, your profile links will suddenly become powerful tools.

Be sure to optimize your Google Plus title tags for search engine results. Having a highly optimized Google Plus page is much easier to rank than a standalone website. Add a picture to your profile and an author picture for content that you will claim through “Authorship.”

Posts with pictures are clicked on up to 5 percent more than posts without. Once you’ve optimized your Google Plus presence, you can enjoy Google’s bias in quickly indexing posts that have received a+1.
courtesy of: http://smallbiztrends.com Amie Marse

Contact us and visit: http://www.janetpennconsulting.com/social_mediamarketing.html

Friday, May 24, 2013

Site Redesign: Avoid These Mistakes by Level343

Undertaking a redesign is usually a pretty big project. In addition to the actual design work, there are so many little details related to SEO and marketing that you need to consider.
Site Redesign: Avoid These Mistakes image redesign 200x120
To help you out, here are some of the common problems you want to avoid:

Don’t forget to add your Analytics code to the new site. You don’t want to lose crucial data by forgetting to add the code. From time to time, Google updates the format of the code/scripting, so ensure you have the most recent code. Use the same account you’ve always used, you don’t want to lose the history.

Most designers use some method of stopping the engines from spidering the work in progress. That is a great idea but it can kill your traffic if you forget to remove it when the site goes live. Check pages for tags blocking the engines and check your robots.txt file.

Keep your server clean.

Don’t forget to clean the old files off your server when the new site is live. You don’t want to lose them, so ensure you back it up somewhere. If you are going to leave it on the server, put it all in a sub-directory and ensure the engines do not spider that directory. You don’t want to create duplicate content.

Don’t forget to closely track your Webmaster Tools and Analytics after a redesign. You want to look for 404 errors and you want to keep an eye on your conversion rate. If it plummets after a redesign, you want to catch it quickly and work to restore it. If there is a conversion problem after a redesign, you should look at the pages that aren’t performing as well (Google Analytics should give you that data) and compare the old page to the new. Try to find elements on the old page that you think could have been responsible for the higher rate and implement those elements into the new site. New isn’t always better and sometimes a marriage between new and old is what works best.

Don’t forget to thoroughly test before you go live. Test all links, forms, buttons and scripts. A new look isn’t worth much if your visitors can’t do the things they need to do on your site.

Ensure you create a comprehensive mapping of old pages to new pages if the URLs are changing. You need to set up 301 redirects from the old URLs to the new ones so you don’t lose traffic.

Before you get started, spend time planning the new site. It’s going to be time well spent, I promise. Why go through all the effort and cost of a redesign if you aren’t going to ensure everything is set up properly? Plan your site structure to ensure you have all the pages you need and to ensure it’s all organized logically and cleanly. This will be beneficial for the engines and for your site visitors. You don’t want anything to be more than 1-2 clicks from the homepage.

Remember, appearance matters but so does content. Most people only think about the visuals when they redesign, but it’s actually a great time to update and refresh your content too.

If your developer was working with any scripting in the design and development process, ensure test pages aren’t left on the server. They create “gaps” in your security that could cause your site to be compromised.

If you are using WordPress, ensure all plugins are current and create a plan to keep them current. Old plugins are a major security risk.

If during the redesign you are cleaning up scripts and moving them to external files, be sure to test all functionality related to the scripting.

Often WordPress has a few different themes sitting in there, even though you are only using one a t time. Unused themes and plugins (inactive plugins) do create serious problems with security and could cause a breach. It’s so easy to add themes and plugins when you need them, so get in the habit of keeping your WP installation clean and add only items you plan to use.

Don’t forget about Terms of Service and privacy pages. They may not be sexy, but they are needed and it’s nice if they match the vibe of the site, so ensure they get redesigned too (or added if you never had them).

Don’t forget social buttons. If your old site didn’t have social buttons implemented yet, you want to ensure you have them added to the new site.

Don’t add content just for the sake of adding content but if you notice in your planning stages that you are not covering information that you should be, it’s a great time to introduce new pages.

If possible, go with search engine friendly file names on the new site.

Don’t forget to include any credibility factors (logos of associations, details on awards and accolades etc).

Avoid “Coming Soon” pages. If the content isn’t ready to go, don’t link to the page yet.

Custom 404 pages are a must!

Create a strong, custom 404 page (that is optimized).

If you address and phone number aren’t prominent (in text format, not images), get that changed. It’s a simple fundamental that should be in place.

Consider mobile when you redesign your site. Even if you don’t have responsive design or a fully mobile version of your site, you can still design it to be more “mobile friendly”.

And lastly, ensure your new site is properly optimized and you have an XML sitemap in place.

If you haven’t done a redesign in a while, it may be time. Don’t stress, just keep a check list of all the items and nothing will slip through the cracks.

By: Level343 is an international SEO and content marketing company based in San Francisco, California

Contact us and visit: http://www.janetpennconsulting.com/website_design.html


Promoting Content with Google+ by Mike Allton

Many bloggers stop the promotion of their content on social media sites at Facebook and Twitter. While Facebook and Twitter are great ways to spread the word about new and existing content, it is by no means the only relevant social media platform available to bloggers. Google+, however, has broadcasting components that can make the promotion of content easier and can create more interactive reader experience.

Back End SEO

Simply setting up a Google+ page automatically gives bloggers a little more search engine juice. Because Google+ is a feature of Google, the platform is designed to be more easily found by the Google search engines. Through the simple stages of page set up, you can choose to incorporate title tags, meta tags, and keywords through Google+’s step by step process – no extensive knowledge of coding needed – making your blog, Google+ page, and even individual blog posts more easily found through Google searches.

Claim Ownership

One of the best features of Google+ for a blogger is the ability to claim ownership of articles on your own blog as well as other blogs and sites. Should a post of yours gain notoriety or is simply something you find important, you can claim ownership of it. By claiming ownership of a specific post, your name will be seen, along with your blog post’s title, every time the piece shows up in the Google results pages. You can claim authorship by using the rel author tag, which helps Google link an author with their piece of work and, in turn, allows users to discover quality content.

The more often your name gets seen, the more likely you will be seen as an authority, and authorities are the ones who are more likely to have trusted content that readers share.

Create Circles

With Google+ Circles, bloggers are able to place followers within certain groups. While this may seem cumbersome and even unnecessary for a blogger, being able to place key influencers into a Circle can actually be highly beneficial. There’s a little check mark box before you share a G+ post that says “Also send email to this circle?” While you certainly don’t want to check that box every post and spam your key influencers circle, using it sparingly can mean more key influencers will see your blog post. They will get an alert in their inboxes that you shared a post with them.

Creating specific Circles will make sure that all of your followers aren’t feeling spammed by constant information that may not interest them. You can tailor what they see in your news feed.

Join Google+ Communities

Don’t be afraid to join as many communities as you deem relevant to your blog. You can also share your individual blog post with different communities just as you can share it with different Circles.

Go Multimedia

Reading your content is great but seeing the person behind the content is even better. Don’t be afraid to also utilize Google+ Hangouts in addition to the other features the platform offers. Bloggers can host Q & A’s through Google Hangouts, attend real time video chats with followers, and post tutorials that can help further establish themselves in their specific blogging field. Because Google+ Hangouts on air stream live on YouTube and automatically record to your YouTube channel, you have multimedia content ready to go when you click ‘End Broadcast.’ Or, use the free YouTube editor to add enhancements to your video. All you need to host or join a Hangout is an internet connection and a webcam.

This new way of bloggers interacting face to face via webcam is called “Human Media.” This new living, breathing layer of social allows a writer to extend the life of their content beyond just the page, and via webcam go directly into their readers’ living rooms.

While Facebook and Twitter dominate the text based social landscape and it’s important to have a presence there, consider the face to face benefits of Google+. Its free digital tools are allowing more bloggers to become broadcasters.

By: Social Media Today LLC; Mike Allton, Internet Marketing Consultant, The Social Media Hat

Optimize Content For Social Media Marketing by Tom Shurville

The way that marketers are approaching promotion of their products is changing. The nature of peoples’ online time has changed too, and as a result marketers are looking to social media sites to get their message across in different ways.

Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are just a few of the social media sites that lend themselves well to use by marketers to get their products under the noses of internet users. Optimizing content for each of these sites can make the difference between a runaway hit and a complete waste of time.

Twitter, for folks who haven’t used it, is a micro-blogging site that focuses on short messages of 140 characters or less. It has become an art form in its own right, and regular tweeters pride themselves on carefully crafting short and punchy messages they can share with their followers to get across views that are to the point.

One of the main ways in which Twitter is used by its many devotees is to share interesting content with followers in the form of links to other sites posted in the form of a tweet.

Funny photographs, interesting articles and entertaining videos can spread like wildfire on the site as users pick them up from others and share them onwards to their own followers. Signing up for a service such as Twitpic, which integrates seamlessly with Twitter to show images as part of tweets, gives marketers the opportunity to share content that users can pick up, enjoy and share to increase awareness of a product or brand.

Facebook has become a ubiquitous part of most people’s online experience and as such presents marketers with a valuable opportunity. For many, Facebook is the front page of the internet and the first place they look when they log in, meaning that marketers have an ideal opportunity to get exposure provided they can get the right kind of content to be shared.

Users of Facebook often engage in discussions and debates in comment threads on each other’s posts and status updates. This can be a great opportunity for marketers to get conversations going and find out what their users think of their company and their products. Making videos and pictures on websites with quick links to post to Facebook allows people to share what they see on their profiles and gives the opportunity to track links and shares.

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest is not the most social of social networks. Rather than inviting discussion, Pinterest instead focuses on the visual and gives users the chance to find things they like the look of and collect them all in one place.

The biggest opportunity with Pinterest is in having pictures of a product shared with a link back to the company’s website. Pinterest have also included a feature where quoting a price in the description will add a price tag to the photograph to make it easy for users to see what they could be getting and how much it would cost.

In order to get the most out of Pinterest, the most important thing marketers need to do is to ensure a plentiful supply of attractive, high-quality photographs of products. Sharing these on Pinterest and tagging them with common or popular search terms will increase the chances of users
The use of social media as a means for communicating marketing messages is growing. In order to take advantage of the desire of individuals to share interesting and worthwhile content with their peers, marketers need to ensure that they’re making their marketing messages engaging and compatible with the various social media outlets to get the best out of the social networking opportunities available.
By: Bloggertone LLC.--Tom Shurville – Managing Director of Distinctly Digital shares his latest insights on the current hot topics and trends in the search marketing world. Google+http://distinctly.co  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How To Really Use Twitter Hashtags by Jessica Davis

Twitter users originally used hashtags to categorize and identify their tweets. It became so popular that Twitter decided to integrate it into their platform and improve upon it.

Hashtags are now used to categorize tweets, to help twitter users find tweets on certain topics, and to identify trending themes. They are also a great way to get your tweets noticed.

If you didn't know yet, a hashtag is a word or phrase that is written without any spaces and prefixed with a '#' symbol. Like so: #example

With hashtags used in almost every tweet how do you make sure your tweets stand out? Here are a few tips on using hashtags in your tweets to catch fellow tweeters attention.

Follow Basic Hashtag Etiquettes

Don't use more than two, maybe three, hashtags per tweet as it can make your tweet seem spammy.

It is understandable that you want your tweet to show up in as many search results as possible on Twitter but your tweet will have little value if you use up most of the 140 characters for hashtags.

Also, you need to use hashtags that are relevant to your tweet. There may be trending hashtags and you may want to use them badly in your tweet but you will end up annoying your followers and other Twitter users with unrelated tweets.

Use Hashtags That Are Obvious

Sometimes Twitter users end up abbreviating names and using them as hashtags but the abbreviation may not always be understandable. As a result, numerous tweets often get published on the same topic but the hashtags never trend as people end up using variations of the hashtag in their tweets.

Create and use hashtags that are easy to understand so that anyone else tweeting on the same topic can understand and use your hashtag easily.

To make your hashtags more comprehensible avoid writing the whole hashtag in lower case. Use upper case characters to give more sense to your hashtag. Example: #BigEvent

Find The Right Hashtags

Sometimes it is best to use an existing hashtag instead of creating your own hashtag and waiting for it to trend. Finding trending topics is a difficult task even for long-time Twitter users.

Twitter does display the most popular hashtags but how do you find the hashtags that are just beginning to trend?

Some of the most popular tools to identify trending hashtags:

Track Hashtags

Tracking hashtags can help you find and choose which hashtag to use in your tweet.

Tracking a hashtag can give you an idea of how popular the hashtag will be and there are various tools that help track hashtags.

Real time tracking is offered by these tools:

Be Consistent

Hashtags are best used when promoting events, conferences, etc. Many events take place every month or year; using the same hashtag for every instance of the event is a great way to build a buzz around events. Take for example #SXSW, which represents South by Southwest Interactive, Film and Music Festival that takes place every year. The organizers use the same hashtag every year and it creates a lot of buzz almost instantly.

Use the hashtag that you have chosen for your event on other social media platforms too. Although hashtags may not mean much on every site it will help people identify your hashtag when they log into Twitter.

Remind followers about your event by using the hashtag frequently in your tweets.

Use Hashtags Offline

Hashtags are universally recognizable and smart companies are using them off the web too.

Using hashtags in print advertising will make people want to get on Twitter and find the hashtag.

Some hashtags have even been painted on the pitch by sports teams so that even people watching the sporting event on their televisions will be aware of the hashtag.

Create Q&A Sessions

Hashtags are a great way for users to ask you questions and it is one of the easiest ways to build a buzz around your brand. Many celebrities and famous personalities have used hashtags to answer questions from fans and answering questions hardly takes any effort or time. Users can ask you questions by using the designated hashtag in their tweets and you can use the hashtag to find their questions.

Jessica Davis is a Senior Copywriter with Godot Media – a leading content writing services company. She works closely with other article writers at Godot, creating engaging content for the company's clients. Her other interests, besides content and social media marketing, are technology, sports and fashion.http://www.searchenginepeople.com

The Breakthrough of B2B Video Marketing by Erica Bell

Nearly every business and every marketer are looking for ways to create compelling content that’s fresh, eye-catching and engaging. From customer acquisition to increasing customer retention, content is how businesses are looking to boost their bottom lines. Because of this, businesses are expanding their content libraries with blog posts, infographics and case studies. B2B marketers are increasingly becoming more visual to appeal to buyers. However, they aren’t limiting themselves to images or white papers.  Videos are becoming more popular among both B2B marketers and buyers.

The Rise of Video Marketing
Video marketing and digital video ad spend are on the rise. We’re all aware that visuals tend to make a greater, lasting impact on consumers than text alone. Video provides businesses with an opportunity to really tell a story in ways that single pictures can’t. With all the opportunities provided by video, it makes sense that this arena is growing. 55.8% percent of B2B marketers plan to increase their video budget in 2013 (Tweet this!), according to one recent study, “BtoB’s 2013 Outlook: Marketing Priorities and Plans,”  and estimates from eMarketer indicate that US digital video ad spending will nearly double in only four years, climbing from $4.14 billion this year to $8.04 billion in 2016. With video marketing, businesses are able to reach targeted audiences and provide highly relevant content that showcases their business, brand, and often the people behind it.
Content marketing is a hot topic for B2B marketers. Research reports, videos, mobile content and virtual conferences are all on the rise. According to the CMI and Marketing Profs “2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks-North America” report, B2B videos as a content marketing tactic increased from 52% in 2011 to 70% in 2012 (Tweet this!). Content is king and videos are on their way to throne room.

The Case of B2B Tech Buyers
IDG Research Services conducted a study to see how tech buyers are leveraging video to advance their decision making process when it comes to new purchases. The study and resulting infographic indicate that 95% of B2B tech buyers watch tech-related videos and that this correlates with purchase behaviors (Tweet this!).  But, why are tech buyers actually watching these videos? They want to:

•Learn how to use particular products (61%)
•Find information on products they’re interested in buying (58%)
•Find how-to content (57%)

•Get product reviews (54%)

•Stay on the leading edge of technology (52%)

Tech buyers want to be able to stay on top of the current products in their industry, while discovering how to make the most of what they currently have at their disposal.  If you want to reach tech buyers, consider how you can position your business as an expert to provide your viewers with the information they’re after. Expert instruction, how-to tips and product reviews are a great place to start. As marketers, we want to know what action is taken after watching a video. As it turns out, 66% then researched a product and 46% visited a vendor website or contacted a vendor for more info. Perhaps the biggest surprise to many is that after watching a video, 42% of buyers then purchased a product (Tweet this!).
Creating a Bold B2B Marketing Video

Creating a B2B marketing video doesn’t require as much budget or time as you may initially think. Easy ways to get started are turning slideshows, presentations and in-person demos into videos. If your business doesn’t have the budget of bigger brands such as GE and UPS, turn to your employees to see what their ideas are in the types of video content that will most appeal to your customers. User generated content, such as video contest submissions, are another route you can take. No matter your budget or resources, you’ll want to ask yourself the following questions.
•Why are we creating this video? Why are we investing time, budget and additional resources into video marketing?

•Who are we trying to reach? Who is your target audience with each video?

•What types of videos will interest this audience? Is it how-to’s and tutorials, new product announcements, or an explanation of data?
•Where is our audience going to come across these videos? Where can we promote each new video – a newsletter, through display advertising, on social media, and/or on-site?

B2B video marketing is on the rise as businesses look for ways to create and repurpose content that engages their audience on multiple platforms and networks. Many have plans to increase their budget in video content creation and digital video ad spend in an effort to continue providing their customers with fresh, compelling content that leads to conversions.

Posted By Erica Bell to B2B Content Marketing, B2B Video Marketing

Friday, May 17, 2013

The 10 commandments of Video Marketing by Tina Fotopoulou

Internet users’ search for online video content is growing exponentially. Indeed, people are usually attracted by videos and are more likely to remember and refer to a video than to any other form of advertisement. Additionally they consider them as a more reliable source of information.
 video marketing
Video marketing is still overlooked despite the fact that it is a powerful tool to drive traffic to your website and increase your Business dramatically. Furthermore, it is a very cost effective way of promoting your website.

Since users are constantly searching for video content, search engines as Google incorporate video links in their organic results. If you are thinking about creating online videos to promote your business, it is essential to do it in the right way in order to optimize your search engine performance.

Here are the 10 commandments in order to improve the rankings of your video landing pages and increase the views of your videos:

1. Create a keyword-rich title

Using keywords in the video title will help search engines to understand the content of your videos. In this way you will gain higher rankings for relative search terms.

2. Include a text transcript of your video

By including a brief optimized introduction to describe your video & transcript, search engines will be able to understand your videos’ content.

3. Use the keyword “video”

Users often use the word “video” when they search on search engines; add it in your title, description, meta data etc.

4. Enable feedback, comments, ratings & reviews

By allowing users to provide feedback, your video will have greater views since not only they feel that they contribute to your business but also those who provide feedback are usually the ones that take action. Make sure you monitor and reply all the comments.

5. Distribute your video on online-sharing sites & social media

You may want to add the video on your own website to gain visibility, but don’t forget: It is extremely important to publish your video on Youtube, Vimeo and any other online-sharing sites. Share it on Facebook, tweet about it on twitter, add bookmarks and be creative.

6. Implement a linking strategy

As in all other forms of digital content, video’s landing page is judged by the same linking standards. You should build internal and external links, including cross-linking to other videos, bookmarks on the video, links from relevant web pages, etc.

7. Use the right thumbnail

It is one of the most important factors to attract the viewer and make him choose to watch your video. Think of the image that best captures the essence of your video. Make sure it attracts your target group.

8. Use RSS

Users are fond of setting up RSS feeds to their preferred content sources. Submitting your content to RSS will enable users to add you to their feed and review it in the future.

9. Post more than one video

Before launching any video marketing campaign, make sure you have more than one video to publish. In this way people that watched and liked your video will look for other videos from your business.

10. Increase your number of viewers on YouTube

The more viewers you have the more likely it is to appear first in the results.
Do not forget that video marketing may offer new opportunities to drive more traffic to your site. Note that it is important to produce good quality material in order to promote effectively your business values and identity!
Post by: Tina Fotopoulou

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

5 Things Customers Need To Hear You Say In Your Email Newsletter by Miranda Paquet

So, how can you become fluent in engagement quickly to get your emails opened and acted upon?

Following language school, Fluent City’s, tips on creating an engaged audience is a great place to start!

In addition to offering fun after-work language classes for adults in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington DC, Fluent City keeps their fans engaged across all four cities with their informative and fun email newsletters.
Practice these five phrases in your business’s email newsletter, and you’ll be communicating with your audience effectively, all while having some fun along the way:

1. “Hi, are you busy? We are too!”

If you want your email to stand a chance in a bustling inbox, you have to get your audience’s attention quickly. And you have to explain why your customers should act quickly as well.

Luckily, Fluent City’s Marketing Director, Mandy Menaker has a plan.
“We make sure that every time we send a newsletter out, we have something new to share,” Mandy explains. “Every newsletter should have some kind of new theme, whether it’s new classes, an event, or a survey. We want to make sure the newsletter is engaging and not just filling up someone’s inbox. ”
Let’s take a look at two of Fluent City’s recent subject lines:
  1. “New Spring Classes Announced – Spots Filling Up Quickly”
  2. “The Slang Workshop Giveaway Winner Is…”
With either of these email subject lines, Fluent City’s contacts know exactly what information will be shared and they can easily decide if it’s worth an open for them.

2. “We’re serious about you.”

Once you have your readers’ attention, it’s time to deliver quality content.
With so much information available online, your readers want to know that you’ve put the time in to send something useful to them.

“An email newsletter allows you to pick what the most important message is for your customers. We’re serious about our information being clear and straightforward. And we always double check to make sure that everything is accurate and without spelling errors,” Mandy says.

After you consistently show customers the value of reading your emails, they’ll start to become more loyal to you and your business.

In Mandy’s words: “Once people start to read your newsletters and know that they’re engaging, they’ll begin to look forward to opening them up because they know what to expect from you. They learn to trust you and the information you’re providing.”

3. “…but not too serious.”

5 Things Customers Need To Hear You Say In Your Email Newsletter image FluentCity2 600x150
Just because you’re serious about your information, doesn’t mean your newsletter has to have a serious tone.

“When it comes to the tone of our newsletters, we try to make it as casual as possible,” Mandy explains. “People like that we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

To find the right tone for your newsletter, you have to have your audience in mind. For Fluent City, which caters to a younger crowd looking for a fun and laidback approach to learning, this means their emails have to be fun as well.
This can include a “Romance Language” themed newsletter for Valentine’s Day or a link to a hilarious video of a German professor’s improv rap in an event follow-up email.

“Our goal is always to get people to sign up for classes, but we don’t hesitate to put jokes in our emails,” says Mandy. “We want our newsletter to read like it’s coming from a friend and not just a sales ad.”

4) “You can find more here:”

You don’t have to try to include every piece of valuable information in your newsletter.

By including links to your website or buttons to your social media accounts, you will drive traffic to your other outlets and encourage customers to engage with you in more ways than one.

This is what Mandy has in mind each time she creates an email newsletter. “A newsletter is the perfect place to streamline all your channels into one place. We always feature recent blog posts, links to our class offerings, and buttons to all our social media sites. And we always see a giant jump in traffic after sending the newsletter out.”
5 Things Customers Need To Hear You Say In Your Email Newsletter image FluentCIty 600x302

5) “Now take the next step!”

An engaging email is a powerful tool to inspire action.
If you’ve provided readers with the right information and built up their trust with quality content that speaks to them, they’ll be ready to give back to you. Be sure you make it easy for them, by providing a clear call to action for each newsletter.

Of course, a little incentive never hurt either:

“This fall, we promoted a survey in our newsletter and kept the details really clear by saying ‘Fall Survey: One lucky winner will receive a free class. It only takes 5 minutes to fill out,’” Mandy recalls. “We received over 500 responses in a weekend. The feedback was so valuable to us and the positive responses are great for recruiting new customers.”

Combine these five tips in your next email to get your customers engaged long after the email is sent out. Becoming fluent in engagement means you’ll be building a strong community to speak your praises to communities of their own.

This comes to you courtesy of http://www.Business2Community.com (by )

Friday, May 10, 2013

The 10 Commandments of Twitter by Jeff Bullas

When I stumbled upon Twitter 54 months ago I was bemused, flummoxed and even curious. What is this social network that keeps me to 140 characters, sounds like a bird and seemed…well…. pointless?

The 10 Commandments of Twitter image 10 Commandments of TwitterI tweeted here and there and collected 31 followers in 90 days of meandering. Even followed people with large Twitter tribes on topics as diverse as food, photography and politics. Malcolm Turnbull, the local senator must have thought I was a Twitter groupie.
Luckily he didn’t report me for stalking.

My progress on Twitter was slow, confused but persistent. Despite this I continued to tweet, retweet and play. My curiosity was undiminished.
Some people such as Jennifer Aniston’s boyfriend at the time tweeted so much that she decided that he loved Twitter more than her.

She moved onto boyfriend number twenty seven.
Twitter is more powerful than you think

Twitter’s sometimes chaotic nature does make management of the torrent of tweets seem like herding cats. It is essential that you plug your Twitter account into a management tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. This will help you manage your stream with lists of people and hashtags that categorize on topics.
The real power of Twitter is that you can build a follower base that allows you to share a focused stream of content that adds value to your followers daily lives.

There are no fancy Facebook “Edgerank” algorithms to throttle your tweets and choke your content distribution.
Its pure and wild. I like that.
So what are some fundamental principles that you should embrace if you want Twitter to work for you?

The 10 Commandments of Twitter
Here are 10 commandments that may guide you to the Twitter promised land of a large and loyal following. That engages with you and shares your content with speed and velocity.
Thou shalt

Moses used this term so I thought that I couldn’t go wrong if I borrowed the term “Thou shalt”
1. Write a meaningful “bio” description

If you are using Twitter for purely personal reasons then go crazy and knock yourself out with a crazy and cute bio. If you are serious then make sure that when they read it they know in a heartbeat what you are about.
2. Have a link

I don’t know how many times I have looked for a link to take a deeper dive into a Tweeter to see what they do and where they have come from but get stymied. If you don’t have a blog then take them to your Linked account or Facebook page.
Let them discover the real you. The bio is just the start

3. Be focused
Build a tribe of Twitter followers who are passionate and interested in your topic of interest. That can be done with tools such as Tweepi or Twellow.

4. Automate where appropriate
This may seem evil to some but as you grow your follower base things like following back become time consuming and unmanageable. Automate the boring tasks such as content distribution and follow back but not the conversation and engagement

5. Not neglect Twitter
Keep the stream of Tweets rolling out so that followers see activity and content. Keep that activity going. Do this at a level that you are comfortable with.

It is different for everyone. Remember it is a tool not a religion.

6. Use Hashtags
Hashtags allow you to put content into followers accounts that are topic driven and organized. If you are interested in blogging then include a tweet with the hashtag #blogging.

It will lead to increased awareness and sharing of your tweets.

7. Manage with a tool
The Twitter eco-system of tools and apps evolved because Twitter kept its network simple. It has been effective and been part of its charm. To manage and monitor both the tweets and the people you interact with on Twitter and organized like your mum would be proud of then Hootsuite and Tweetdeck should be used.

8. Brand your Twitter account
Ensure that when people trip up on your Twitter account that they recognize your brand that is on Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube. My caricature works for me.

Consistent branding is good.
9. Use Twitter sharing and subscribe buttons on your blog

Make it is easy and obvious for people to share your content on your blog with obvious Twitter buttons at the top of your article. Make sure they can follow you on Twitter with buttons that don’t confuse and again are in a position that is prominent..

10. Write the best headline you can
As Twitter has only 140 characters your tweets should be written with the beast headlines you can muster. Learn and practice this skill until your fingers hurt and your mind burns.

You only have 2 seconds to capture their attention until they click away.

This comes to you courtesy of http://www.Business2Community.com (by Jeff Bullas)

Contact us and visit: http://www.janetpennconsulting.com/social_mediamarketing.html


Why your business should use Infographics by Cox BLUE...

Infographics are some of the best tools that a business can use to start a viral marketing campaign. Unlike other advertisements, the branded materials aren’t overly promotional and are highly shareable. While a whitepaper creates authority for a brand and blogs boost search engine optimization value, infographics attract attention from a wide audience because they’re easy to read and usually fun.

Part of your content marketing strategy should be combining disparate elements so you can take a multi-pronged approach. If you’re only using articles, social media or whitepapers, you’re likely missing out on great leads. Here are a few reasons why you need to start using infographics.

Visualizing statistics
Statistics lend your advertisements a certain authority. When you’re arbitrarily making statements, consumers might not believe your marketing messages. As the saying goes, though, numbers never lie, so including a few factual figures makes your claims seem credible. However, people will rarely read lengthy articles about a survey or study you just completed. Caitlin McCabe, founder and CEO of Real Bullets Branding, believes that
infographics make numbers more pleasing to the eye.

“It keeps people’s interest by lending a storytelling and visual element to what can be sterile research. People do want numbers and statistics to back the information they’re reading, but there’s also a huge demand for text-based information to be more visually pleasing,” she said, according to The Washington Post.

Think from a reader’s perspective. Would you rather see an infographic that has all the important statistics highlighted or read a lengthy article without knowing where to look for key data? In many cases, infographics are the more effective tools for displaying figures.

Playing the system
One of the most common
search engine optimization tips is to accrue backlinks. If other sites are directing consumers to your page, Google and its ilk will increase your results ranking. The Marketing Tech Blog notes that sending infographics to other sites and blogs is a great way to build an extensive link network. Typically, you’ll share your infographic with site administrators who then post the content to their pages and include a link to your business’ e-commerce service. This shows search engines that you have a heavily-trafficked page and should be ranked higher than others.

Additionally, you should include brand imagery on your infographics to ensure that your readers are exposed to your company’s logos and symbols. This is a safeguard in case a blogger doesn’t link back to you. Using your branded content will also help your business reach new consumers.

Educating consumers
Infographics are highly educational and can teach consumers about your brand. Find an important topic and then conduct research on how customers are affected by that issue. You can use your infographic to inform the public and then write an accompanying blog post about how your merchandise or services can resolve problems.

Infographics should be a fixture in your content marketing strategy. Does your company use them?

By Martin Jones: a Social Media Marketing Manager with the corporate Cox Communications social media team where he assists in leading strategy, campaign ideation and marketing execution across each of the company’s social media platforms. Today, over 400k fans engage with Cox Communications content, campaigns and Customer Care on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube. LinkedIn and Google+.

Contact us and visit: http://www.janetpennconsulting.com/seo.html